1. ITV Report

Michael Heseltine denies killing his mother's dog

Former deputy prime minister Lord Heseltine. Credit: Ben Birchall/PA Wire

Former deputy prime minister Lord Heseltine has denied killing his mother's dog.

The Conservative politician faced a backlash after telling Tatler magazine that he pulled the Alsatian's collar tightly after it bit him, making the dog go limp.

However, Lord Heseltine said his comments were misconstrued, and insisted that the pet, named Kim, was still alive after the incident.

He said Kim was put down the following day by a vet because of its violent outburst.

"I didn't strangle the dog - they have misunderstood," Lord Heseltine said.

"The dog was perfectly alright after this incident."

Michael Heseltine pictured with his dog (not Kim). Credit: PA Wire

Tatler later released a statement, saying: "Tatler thanks Lord Heseltine for his clarification about his mother's dog.

"Lord Heseltine has subsequently explained that after going limp, Kim regained consciousness. After much consideration, Lord Heseltine and his wife decided to take Kim to the vet the following day to be put down. We are updating the piece on accordingly."

The RSPCA said it would not investigate the historical incident, but added there was no "rule" that dogs should be automatically put down if they bite someone.

A spokesman for the charity said: "The RSPCA would never condone an owner killing their dog themselves in this way.

"If a dog needs to be put to sleep then a qualified vet is the right person to euthanise an animal humanely and painlessly, not the dog's owner."